AUSTIN (KXAN) — The family of Douglas Kantor, the 25-year-old Michigan man killed in the June 2021 mass shooting on Sixth Street, flew in from out of town to attend a hearing for the accused gunman.

“It brings it all to the surface again, and it’s like the first day all over again,” said his mother Julia.

Kantor’s family spoke with KXAN about their hopes for the trial while wearing badges with Doug’s face on them.

“I think what brings us all back is that we’re hoping that the outcome of this trial will give us all a boost to move to the next stage of our grief,” said his brother Nicklaus.

The trial for the suspect is currently set for February 28, according to the court docket.

Former downtown council member Kathie Tovo launched the Safer Sixth Street Initiative in response to the shooting, calling for ways to diversify the space and deter violence.

Now, it’s up to the newly elected Zo Qadri to keep that mission going.

“I think it’s about looking into everything we can to make sure folks feel safe,” he said.

Sixth Street continues to be a hot spot for downtown violence.

“We have meetings scheduled with folks not only related to that, but also people who live in the area. A lot of business owners have reached out to us,” said Qadri, who officially took office about one week ago.

While the Kantor family lives out-of-state, Doug’s mother and brother expressed wanting to see stricter prosecution for violent offenders, a bolstered police force and a way to keep guns and underage kids out of the closed-off portion of the entertainment district.

“Anyone who fires a gun in there, you can’t miss a human body because you’re so packed in,” said Nicklaus.

The family knows it can’t bring Doug back, but said it might help someone else’s family avoid the grief they’re currently grappling with.

“Children, brothers, husbands, wives – they’re dying,” said Julia.